Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Education United States Science

Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design 813

An anonymous reader writes "Ars reports on new legislation in the Missouri House of Representatives which is seeking equal time in the classroom for Intelligent Design, and to redefine science itself. You can read the text of the bill online. It uses over 600 words to describe Intelligent Design. Scientific theory, the bill says, is 'an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy.' It would require that 'If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught.' The legislation's references to 'scientific theory' and 'scientific law' make it clear the writers don't have the slightest idea how science actually works. It also has this odd line near the end: 'If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Missouri Legislation Redefines Science, Pushes Intelligent Design

Comments Filter:
  • It's a race... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nickserv ( 1974794 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:01PM (#42877525) the bottom.

  • Treason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:02PM (#42877531) Homepage

    This sort of behavior from elected officials should be considered treason.

    It is severely hurting the future of our country and making the next generation more ignorant.

    They should be removed from office and any position of power of influence over others.

  • Re:It's a race... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:03PM (#42877541) Homepage Journal

    Teach Darwin,

    Teach Spinoza and Godel.

    No problem.

  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:04PM (#42877551)

    Rest in peace, oh great America. You had a nice run leading the world in science and technology.

    Pretty soon now you will be just another religious state, just like the ones you are fighting right now, but with a different religion.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:12PM (#42877643)
    Is there some way to stop people from seeing evolution as a threat? It is possible to believe in a literal creation and an old age earth. I know when I say my prayers for God to cure diseases and feed the hungry that God will be increasing mankind's knowledge of science and technology in order for this to happen. Just because God never makes mistakes doesn't mean clergy who interpret scripture into theology never make mistakes.

    The whole situation is embarrassing. On one hand, a few select Christians look silly for not being able to understand evolution. But I think worse yet, some scientists actually believe that if evolution is real that God can't be.

    On one hand, faith used correctly is a great force to do good in the world. When you realize God loves you and you live after death, you can have faith to spend this life helping the poor instead of living for yourself. But on the other hand, faith in something that is incorrect, well that will lead people to unquestioning and screwing up the world. Zealotry applied correctly can be good, but I think you don't have to look too far to see some idiots.
  • what do you teach? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spiked_Three ( 626260 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:19PM (#42877715)
    I mean not that I any way believe in any of the ID stuff (flying spaghetti monsters is my bumper sticker), but, even if you do, what do you teach?

    "Some super brain/being designed it all. End of story".

    This is so wrong on so many levels. The dumbing down of children for fanaticals has to stop, one way or another. People like Rick Sanatorium are destroying this country and need to be run out.
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:22PM (#42877747) Homepage

    Actually, it really wasn't all that long of a run, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, Athens had a century or so as the center of learning, Alexandria lasted several centuries, Rome had a couple of really good centuries, Baghdad spent 3 centuries on top, Britain had a pretty impressive run from about the mid 1600's to the end of the Industrial Revolution, etc. And what all of those societies had in common was that they placed the highest value on knowledge and learning and not so much value on foolish religiousity. And the ruling class supported those scientific efforts for their own sake, not just because they were profitable.

  • by morcego ( 260031 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:26PM (#42877789)

    Actually, it really wasn't all that long of a run, in the grand scheme of things.

    True. It was pretty much since the 1940s. But it was still a good run. Some very smart people in the USA government saw the writing in the wall and figure it would be a good idea to welcome all those scientists fleeing Europe (WWI and WWII) with open arms, and start investing heavily in science.

    I bet they are turning inside their graves right now, so to speak.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:27PM (#42877803) Homepage

    ... we'll see that schools that teach hogwash will be less successful than schools that teach science.

    What do you mean by "less successful"? There is, right now, a network of parents and private schools and churches and non-accredited "universities" and museums that have the specific goal of teaching what the reality-based community sees as hogwash. They make huge sums of money, have growing numbers of students, and show no signs of going away any time soon. Their goal is to prevent students from learning about evolution, the Big Bang, psychology, or anything else that would convince a student to reconsider the religious truth that their parents and Bible-thumping preachers have told them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:30PM (#42877845)

    I don't want to live forever with such stupid morons that have all this 'faith' and believe in such insane garbage. it's wrong. flat out wrong. it's a mental illness and a holdover from the age when humans didn't know jack shit about the world. and it's very very very very stupid and frustrating it continues.

    I'm not sure i want to live now with all these people running the place... Forever is out of the question. No way. Fuck that. no. just... no.

    I'll take the void thank you very much.

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:32PM (#42877867)
    And yet, he was able to realize that observable evidence was more important then simply chanting "God did it" over and over again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:32PM (#42877871)

    The religious movements must really feel the pressure if they resort to hard-line legislation to impose their world view AND restrict the critique. And to completely redefine the term "scientific theory" to suit your agenda feels entirely like a Stalinist reasoning. In the USSR, during the most repressive period, members of the opposition were committed for life to mental institutions because, to paraphrase, only mad men would oppose the great ideals of the communist movement. Will we see something similar in the US? Atheists being sent to mental institutions, because only mad men would hold no faith in their hearts and minds?

  • Re:It's a race... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:32PM (#42877881)

    It really fucking is. The reason for NOT teaching intelligent design is written right into the fucking text of the law.

    "(2) "Biological evolution", a theory of"

    "(3) "Biological intelligent design", a hypothesis"

    Amazing how they got that right then got the entire text of the law wrong.

    I also like how they added "biological" to the front of intelligent design. It both makes it oh so obviously more legitimate and less pseudo science and also suggests we were created by aliens instead of god/gods/pigdemons/whateverotherrandombullshitpeoplearegullibleenoughtoswallow at the same time.

  • Re:It's a race... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WaywardGeek ( 1480513 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:35PM (#42877905) Journal

    I prefer the Halting Problem to Godel, but that's another issue... This is just another brain-dead bill by the god-tard legion.

  • by accessbob ( 962147 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:35PM (#42877907)

    These bigoted idiots get away with what they do and say because we,

    who do know better,

    don't treat them and their ideas with the mockery that they deserve.

    Respecting their right to believe (and we must) is not the same as respecting the idiotic beliefs that they hold.

  • by emil ( 695 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:36PM (#42877915)

    I have a much better idea. A fundamentalist Christian has no business seeing a physician or being in a hospital ever.

    Corinthians 2:12:5: ...but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me. And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Power is made perfect. . .The strength and power of God more perfectly shines forth in our weakness and infirmity; as the more weak we are of ourselves, the more illustrious is his grace in supporting us, and giving us the victory under all trials and conflicts. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful.

    Any Christian that pushes intelligent design over evolution should have the courage of their convictions and forsake modern medicine. Glory in your disease, for it is a gift from God.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:40PM (#42877953)

    So .. we support perfidious Albion in WW1 ( creating the Nazi ascendancy ) and Stalin in WW2 returning globalist blo-jobs to the cosmopolitans who produced nuclear weapons. And in the process butchered millions, pandered Bantu Neoliths and acquired an empire while destroying our republic. From his grave Jefferson screamed in pain. Nice feckin-A work ....

  • Re:Treason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:45PM (#42877999)


    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    The Enemies always have been and always will be ignorance and stupidity.

    Open and shut case I'd say.

  • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zennyboy ( 1002544 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:49PM (#42878047)

    Why not let drug users let their kids use drugs.... etc

    Because it's not the parents (voters) being harmed (mentally in this case). It's the children...

  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:57PM (#42878109)

    Pretty soon now you will be just another religious state, just like the ones you are fighting right now, but with a different religion.

    There is another, more optimistic way of looking at this: we are seeing the last frantic struggles of a reactionary movement which can't adapt to social change. If you were to go back in time to, say, 1950, do you really believe that Americans as a group were any less superstitious or closed-minded? In that era, not only were racism and sexism often overt (or even violent), gays were subject to criminal prosecution in most states, often with involuntary psychiatric commitment, and I suspect evolution wasn't even an issue because it wasn't even being taught in most schools. Maybe the reason why there wasn't a big controversy back then is because there wasn't much disagreement - the country was far more conservative as a whole.

    Look at it from the perspective of the religious fundamentalists: in the past century (and some of these trends are far more recent), women have career opportunities that were unheard of (and are a majority of new college graduates); gays are "out, loud, and proud", with gay marriage now legal in four states (and civil unions in several more); no-fault divorce is available in nearly every state (I think NY is the lone holdout), and the divorce rate is something like 50% as a result; young women write exhibitionist columns in college newspapers glorifying their promiscuity; single motherhood is more common than ever; cohabitation before marriage is practically the norm (at least if you're a coastal elite like myself); the biological sciences are changing so fast that in another few decades (a century at the most) we'll probably have redefined reproduction (and humanity); the government has replaced the churches as the primary distributor of charity; and last but not least, we know more about the history of our universe and our species than ever before, and it's simply not compatible with Biblical literalism no matter how hard you try. The religious conservatives perceive their entire belief system to be under assault by the government, pop culture, and the dreaded liberal elites, and they are frantically trying to hold back the flood of perversity and Godlessness by every legal means at their disposal.

    Mind you, I'm absolutely not defending them; I find them ignorant and contemptible, and their actions contradict nearly every moral and ethical value I have. But, as someone who reads a lot of history, and often feels just as alienated from modern society, I think I have a pretty good idea how they feel, and the word is desperate. They're not winning, they're fighting a rearguard action, trying to return to a idyllic, morally virtuous, and thoroughly mythical past.

  • by Morgaine ( 4316 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:15PM (#42878269)

    This sort of behavior from elected officials should be considered treason.

    Treason may be the wrong word if one wants to be precise, but there is certainly something like treason going on. The creationists are willfully trying to undermine the country's scientific future and to infect school children's receptive minds with pure nonsense. As an analogy it's very true.

    There's also some very severe professional misconduct occurring there, because non-scientists are pretending to be scientifically competent and dictating school science curricula.

    Are carpenters allowed to establish guidelines for how surgeons will do heart surgery? No, they lack the professional competence so they are not accepted as having standing in the matter. What's happening in science education in a few US states is directly analogous. The creationists have no standing in science and so should have the door shut firmly in their faces.

    Pretending to have scientific competency when you don't even know how science works is pretty clear fraud. Aren't there controls in education to keep charlatans from taking jobs for which they have no professional competence? Apparently not.

  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:25PM (#42878357) Homepage

    Now the only problem is that half-decade gap between sexual maturity and legal adulthood.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:25PM (#42878361)

    Except, this law will never get passed. Or even have a hearing. It was introduced by someone that's only been in offices 2 years and a few months. It's a political stunt. His district is Tiny, I couldn't find stats on it but I bet there's no more than a few thousand people in it from the looks of the map. They probably all go to church, and they HATE people like you just as much as you hate people like them. (you're both bigots by the way) This will be all over the internet in a matter of no time and all your elitist rage will fuel their righteous anger... and they'll turn out in droves to support their poor, beleaguered representative in his humble attempts to remain a Godly man in a Godless world.

    You're both rats, he's the piper. Congrats.

  • Re:It's a race... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:26PM (#42878377)

    Well biological intelligent design is pretty well a fact. Dogs are one good example, wheat another. Then of course there is whatever Monsanto has been designing.
    I don't see any problem with teaching how for the last 10,000 odd years we've been designing organisms.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:32PM (#42878421) Homepage Journal
    It has to do with the nature of worship and the nature of faith. For some people, those who worship a book, worship and faith have to do with knowing their place in the world. Knowing that even though they are adulterers and sinners in the eye of the almighty, that the gay people are worse. Knowing that even they have no hope of ever having enough money to be confortable, it is not because the almighty made it that way, but because others, the worshippers of the anti-christ, have conspired to keep them from the wealth that is rightfully theirs. These people focus on ritual, and material objects, and fabricated customs to create a world in which they do not have to be responsible for their lot in life, actions, or the consequences of those actions. Sure their speech or actions may harm people, but that is the will of the being they have created to worship

    There is another way. A way in which we do not assume that all that is known is already known, that the book that sinners wrote is the ultimate repository of knowledge. In this way we accept that there is an almighty, that the almighty created the universe, and, more importantly, that the almighty cannot be limited by the wishful rules and regulation that the creation tries to impose. In this way all we can do is try to study the creation, the rocks, the plants, the animals, including us, to try to understand what is excepted of us. This, I believe is the genius of Galileo and Newton, who freed us from the bonds of ancient religions and allowed us to find better lives, to attempt to create the heaven on earth for all people, not just the few that believe they have been 'chosen' to exploit and oppress the rest of creation.

    Science does not question the existence of the almighty. Science does not question the existence of creation. Science causes no crisis of faith in one that is faithful. All science does is disrupt those that want to use faith to gather personal power, wealthy, and in the process elevate themselves to the level of the almighty.

  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:33PM (#42878433)

    I sure hope you are right, and they are only being louder, and not more influential, lately.

    I'm old enough to remember all the way back to the 1980s, and I think if anything they've been getting less influential. There have been an endless succession of predatory, hypocritical evangelists fallen from grace, supposedly unstoppable coalitions of religious voters that quickly collapsed, token theocratic presidential candidates, and the usual fuckwits pushing creationism. News media love the story of "plucky zealots push for moral laws", which they issue with some regularity, but it's just lazy journalism. (Remember when Ralph Reed was a Newsweek cover boy?)

    I think the only area in which the fundamentalists have made significant gains is restricting the availability of abortion services in "red" states, and even so I think that's about as far as they're going to get. (Does anyone actually believe that California or New York would outlaw abortion?) On the opposite end, look at gay rights, which has made immense gains since I started noticing politics. Sure, the conservatives managed to pass anti-gay marriage propositions in a number of states, which basically just restored the legal situation to where it was in 2003. And as I mentioned, four states just legalized it by popular vote, which has never happened before. And I'm sure the fundamentalists will complain louder than ever, but in ten years, when Washington state is just as happy and prosperous as it is now (barring further nationwide economic catastrophe), and hasn't been smote by lightning or plagued by locusts or blown up by volcanoes, it's going to be even more difficult to convince middle America that letting their hairdressers marry is going to bring about the end of Western civilization.

  • Re:Treason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jimme Blue ( 1683902 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:35PM (#42878459)

    Why are you naming the Republican party?

    Oh, I don't know. Perhaps because Representative Brattin, the bill's sponsor, and Representatives Koenig & Bahr, the bill's co-sponsors are all Republicans?

  • by mattack2 ( 1165421 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:39PM (#42878475)

    This isn't all that different from the argument at hand, that believers of evolution don't want religion being taught to their kids.

    Teach religion all you want, in a comparative religion class.

    In a science class, we want science taught. You're perfectly welcome (and encouraged) to come up with another *scientific* theory that describes how the various species came to be. It has to fit with our observed evidence (including the DNA record). If it does that better than evolution, then great, you win. Collect your Nobel Prize.

  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:44PM (#42878509)

    One more point before I head out the door: despite years of trying, creationism (including its more PR-friendly bastard child Intelligent Design) has had absolutely zero impact in the one area where it might actually matter: actual science (both basic and applied). The only extent to which it affects biologists is that some people end up wasting time arguing with superstitious, scientifically illiterate morons instead of doing actual research. Every other scientist I know, including everyone I work with, just ignores them and continues applying our materialist worldview ("the scientific method") with ever-increasing gains. There will never be a disease cured by application of Biblical principles, which means the entire concept is ultimately doomed. It's just going to take another few centuries for the facts on the ground to catch up with the fundies, by which time the rest of us will have engineered ourselves into near-superhuman intelligence. (At least I hope so, but I probably read too much science fiction.)

  • Not so fast. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by emil ( 695 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:44PM (#42878517)

    You want to talk Old Testament morality? Game on!

    Genesis 19:30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

    That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

    So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[h]; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.

    Do you really want to live like this? Do you really want your CHILDREN to live like this?

    Cafeteria Christians indeed.

  • by ThePeices ( 635180 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:47PM (#42878541)

    Then why do all of these supposed teeming masses of enlightened people sit about on their fat asses and DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.

    These religious nutjobs got elected by the majority of people. They stayed elected and started trying to pass religious laws. And they passed. And still, you all sat there and did nothing.

    How many more times do we all have to read about this shit happening in the US before people take a genuine stand against this tripe?

    You non-religiously-affiliated -people need to grow a pair and start changing things before the shit really starts hitting the fan.

  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:52PM (#42878585) Homepage Journal

    Do you have any other justification than "we are right" to explain why a state's citizens should decide what the schools that they pay for teach their children?

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Not to their own facts.

    If it teaches unverifiable bullshit, it isn't education, and doesn't belong in a school.
    By all means, let parents and special interest groups pay for teaching their children whatever they want, but not within the school system. Remember that schooling isn't just by and for the tax payers of a state, but part of the UN charter on children's rights. As such, it transcends mere state legislation.

  • by mattack2 ( 1165421 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:59PM (#42878625)

    Well, then it sounds like you just think parents shouldn't have to send their kids to regular school. They already can home school them or send them to a private school.

    If they're going to public school, then they should be taught what everyone else is being taught that is going to public school.

    or a religious alternative during evolution week of biology class.

    But that's my point, there *isn't* a scientific alternative.. If you want them to be able to just skip it, like kids being able to skip sex ed, then that just seems silly.. because they're not having a logical reason they want to skip it. Going home school is a way to skip all of the stuff in which they don't believe.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:16PM (#42878779)

    But we're not talking logic here, we're talking belief systems, and their frailty. Trust is very important to humans, and some will trust parental and mentoring sources more than "science".

    It's best to question it all. Science has enormous chasms, charlatans, lack of referential integrity, and lots of bogus opinion marching around as fact. Yes, I prefer science, despite its problems.

    But you're not fighting facts, you're fighting trust and beliefs masquerading as injecting doubts. The orthodoxy isn't going to give up. Best to educate them, and let them choose, so that they buy into what's going on around them.

  • Re:Treason (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:18PM (#42878795)

    No, the problem is not the elected officials.

    Yes, it *is* the problem.

    See, we don't live in a democracy here. We don't have 50%+1 mob rule. We have a republic. Elected officials are supposed to use their fucking brains and say "no, that's fucking stupid and illegal, try again, asshole."


  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:37PM (#42878935) Journal

    It's not just about Evolution - that's a hook for getting one particular voting block supporting the Republican Party, and a favor to them for cooperating, but there's more to it than that. Teaching Anti-Evolution Anti-Science makes it easier to teach Anti-Global-Warming Anti-Science - same tools, same skepticism and unwillingness to believe the real world instead of the authorities.

    The Republican Party doesn't really care much about evolution. But their Corporate Sponsors really do care about global warming, and about anything that might force the government to make laws that affect their business. Anti-Evolution is fun, but anti-global-warming is where the money is.

  • by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:42PM (#42878969)

    believers of evolution don't want religion being taught to their kids.

    1. I don't have to 'believe in evolution'. It is a proven, scientific fact(despite the frequent and erroneous argument that it is 'only a theory').

    2. I don't want it being taught to anyone, not just to my kids. It is so confoundingly stupid and against common sense, that it is like actively teaching disinformation and stupidity. I think we have plenty of both already.

  • The World Laughs (Score:4, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:45PM (#42878987)
    And Americans wonder why the world is basically laughing at them.
  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @12:02AM (#42879143)

    You don't get away that easy:

    Argue with them on substance, make them agree based on their own values. Learn about their religion and support your own views with scripture.

    I have actually done this. I have relied upon the writings of learned philosophers such as Roger Williams against literalism and that the hypocrisy of state endorsement of religion and state religions in general, "stinks in the nostrils of God." And you know what? Legislators who propose laws like this deserve derision. They deserve ridicule. Because they have violated their oaths of office. ID is a purely *religious* philosophy. It's not science. It's a *particular* version of "christian" philosophy. Attempting to enshrine it in law as science is an endorsement of a particular *brand* of christianity over all others.

    State legislators in Missouri swear to uphold both the Missouri and US constitutions. And since the establishment clause was deliberately designed as a wall of separation (see Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists and Madison's letter to Livingston), you really can't get any worse in violating the oath of office by proposing laws like this.


  • by postofreason ( 1305523 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @12:29AM (#42879359)
    Demands equal time!!!!!!!!!! From the Curch of Pastafarianism: So you want to be a Pastafarian Great. Consider yourself a member. You'll notice there are no hoops to jump through. You don't have to pay anything. How to help the church You can help by spreading the Word. Tell the people about Pastafarianism. Point out that we are the world's most peaceful mainstream religion, having started no wars in our God's name. As far as I know, there are no deaths attributed to our religion. Can I be a member if I don't literally believe in FSM? Yes, you can. For the same reason that many in other religions don't literally believe their scripture, you can be a Pastafarian without being a True Believer of our scripture. In other words, do you know Christians who don't take the Bible literally – but who consider themselves True Christians, nonetheless? So do I. In fact, True Belief is not often a requirement of religion. Most religions are comprised of a group of people with similar – but not exact – world views. Pastafarianism is no different in that regard. Whatever you decide, remember this FSM is a real, legitimate religion, as much as any other. The fact that many see this is as a satirical religion doesn't change the fact that by any standard one can come up with, our religion is as legitimate as any other. And *that* is the point.
  • by bogjobber ( 880402 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @03:40AM (#42880575)
    This is true. I live in Utah, one of the most conservative states in the country with the most well-organized religious-political union, and even here you can see the writing on the wall. Abortion, sex ed and ID are still hot topic issues (absolutely nothing like it was in years past, but still contentious) but women's lib and gay rights are something that the younger generation, even arch conservatives, have accepted as right and necessary.
  • by Plekto ( 1018050 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @05:38AM (#42881157)

    Nothing conflicts at all. In fact if you believe that the universe was created *by* a God, then everything we observe must be part of how it was created. That is, religion IS science. Wrap your brain around that.

    So why is there such a mess?

    The religious institutions are against it as it lessens their power over the masses, which means less financial and political power as well. The fear is that science introduces a far more dangerous condition, which is critical thinking. The last thing they want to deal with is informed people who question their religion and practices. Most of which have nothing to do with the core beliefs but are designed to keep these same establishments in power.

  • by greenfruitsalad ( 2008354 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @08:48AM (#42882159)

    I still remember when, as a child, I was told God created man and woman. When I asked how, my dad took out encyclopaedia and we read the fascinating story of evolution. I never thought there was any conflict between my faith and science. That seems to be pretty standard among 'believers' in Europe. I really don't get how this can be such a deal in the US. You can only stare at provable facts (and tools like carbon dating) and ignore them for so long before you feel like a fool.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.